At the January 17 meeting...

Our Annual Nonlinear Showcase

Secret Surprise: First US debut of...

By Bob Lamm

Itís so new it doesnít even have a name yet: Itís Sonyís new HD/SD nonlinear editing station, and it was just one just one of the many HD nonlinear editing systems that were on display at the January 17 Annual Nonlinear Showcase at WCVB-TV.

What else was there to see? Video editing and compositing systems of just about every stripe and flavor: There were several analog and DV editing systems, including a very nice one from Matrox: The RT2000. $4000 gets you analog AND DV editing, lots of realtime effects (including 3D and particles) and CD/DVD/web authoring.

At the other end of the scale was Discreetís edit* and Combustion. These are designed for pros who need a fast, powerful user-interface with things like bezier keyframing of virtually all effects and very high-quality computation. Combustion is based on the high-end Flame that Discreet makes.

Another compositing package at the show was Eyeon Digital Fusion: It has a very unique user-interface that organizes all the effects by process rather than layer. This makes it very easy to lay out complicated effects.

This was also the first time the Pinnacle TARGA 3000 was shown at this event: Several different versions were on display: The standard version running Premiere, the Mac version (called CineWave) which runs with Apple Final Cut Pro, and an HD version of the CineWave. The standard-res version offers a lot of realtime effects, including true RGB color correction.

There were also some offbeat exhibitors: One of the most unique was Storage Computer Teleserver, a Linux-based video server that provides up to 64 channels of scheduled or on-demand video for master-antenna and cable-TV systems, complete with 24/7 scheduling and billing!

How did people find their way through all these exhibits? Bob Turner, the media guru from Video Systems magazine, gave a 20-minute presentation that explained the differences and advantages of the different products.

Special thanks are owed to two people:

First and foremost to Mike Keller, Chief Engineering Honcho at WCVB-TV. He generously provided WCVBís big studio (the largest soundstage in New England) for our use. This allowed us to invite almost twice as many exhibitors as before.

And also to Robin Shahid at Sony (now at WLVI-TV) for arranging for our secret surprise: The US debut of the Sony HD/SD system that opened up the show. It allowed us to get an advanced peek at a product thatís scheduled to be formally introduced at NAB.

So be sure to mark those calendars off for next Januaryís event! Itís gonna be even bigger and better!

Bob Lamm is Manager at CYNC, a video/multimedia equipment dealership that sells nonlinear/compositing equipment (among other things). He can be reached at 617-277-4317,

Posted: 20 February, 2001
Robert Lamm, SMPTE/New England Newsletter/Web Page Editor